SBS, like most networks in 2019, went through a series of ups and downs. But so far in 2020 SBS has had almost entirely upshot in terms of its drama performances, as both of its late night dramas are enjoying ratings numbers upwards of 15%.
SBS's first big hit, "Stove League", actually started in December. The Namgoong Min led drama about a struggling baseball team had a passable opening episode of 5.5%, doubling that rating by the fourth episode. While the offbeat premise was a difficult sell, Namgoong Min has once again proven that he is a talent that can make or break a production. Or at least, that he has a keen enough eye to distinguish which projects have strong potential, as he did with "Doctor Prisoner" last year.
"Dr. Romantic 2" had a much more solid opening from the outset, with a 14.9% premiere, which showed that the love for "Dr. Romantic" had been, if anything, underestimated. In many ways "Dr. Romantic 2" repudiates the principles behind "Stove League". For its emphasis on new characters and storylines, "Dr. Romantic 2" is deliberately derivative of its predecessor. A potential season 3 is also likely being considered.
However, whatever the guiding principle, "Stove League" and "Dr. Romantic 2" both show how compelling storylines and strong supporting casts can bring success to dramas. SBS having apparently grasped both such forms of programming bodes well for the rest of the year, even if the dramas which follow "Stove League" and "Dr. Romantic 2" will have tough acts to follow.
Written by William Schwartz
"Stove League" is directed by Jeong Dong-yoon, written by Lee Shin-hwa, and features Namgoong Min, Park Eun-bin, Oh Jung-se, Jo Byeong-gyu, Son Jong-hak, Lee Joon-hyuk-I. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/12/13~Now airing, Fri, Sat 22:00 on SBS.
"Dr. Romantic 2" is directed by Lee Gil-bok, Yoo In-sik, written by Kang Eun-kyeong, and features Han Suk-kyu, Ahn Hyo-seop, Lee Sung-kyung, Kim Joo-hun, Shin Dong-wook, So Joo-yeon. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2020/01/06~Now airing, Mon, Tue 22:00 on SBS.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's News] SBS Has a Strong 2020 Opening for Dramas"
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